An experiential celebration of Onam in Delhi

Billed as a balanced mix of food and music from Kerala, the South Side Story, a newly curated event, is celebrating Onam in a special way.

The event will have an elaborate vegetarian meal served at Zorba, Chhatarpur, on September 7, 2019. Bands from the state too will give a live performance. Agam and Thaikuddam Bridge, Indie bands, will regale the Delhi audience with Carnatic progressive rock, pop, and electronic music.

The Malayali diaspora celebrates Onam, a harvest festival, across the globe. Men and women usually dress up in the traditional munduand exquisite Kasavu sari, and prepare Sadhya, the festive meal.

According to Nisha Narayanan, COO & Director, RED FM and Magic FM, there has been a drastic shift in the Indian music scenario with more independent regional artists coming forward. “It is our effort to bring together like-minded people to experience sights, sounds, and Sadhya from the magnificent land of Kerala. Through this IP, we plan to get south India to north India.”

Mahabelly, the Delhi-based Kerala eatery, will curate the cuisine for this fest. A thattukada (a Kerala dhaba) will also be set up to serve vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies such as Pachakari Bhajji, assorted batter-fried vegetables, prawn pepper fry, and Chicken 65.

Executive Chef Jinson Varghese, who hails from Angamaly in Kerala and is a specialist in the Syrian-Christian style of cooking, says the festival of Onam marks the celebration of the annual homecoming of Kerala’s favourite mythological king — King Mahabali. “Malayalis pay gratitude to the memory of this benevolent Asura King who was loved by all and is believed to visit his subjects on the day of Onam.”

The significance of Onam, a fest celebrated by Keralites across all faiths and castes, can be seen from the fact that it marks the inception of an egalitarian society. “Even though it is primarily a Hindu festival, it is a celebration of unity and diversity across all religions and sections of society,” says Zachariah Jacob, partner, Mahabelly.

The Sadhya is an elaborate Onam feast served on a plantain leaf. The traditional Sadhya is a vegetarian fare comprising over 22 dishes. The set of items are served one at a time in a clockwise direction, starting with the salt, upperi (banana chips), Sharkara Peratti (jaggery coated banana chips), pickles, and pappadams, followed by the mains , rice, and ending with different varieties of payasam (kheer).

Other items in this lavish meal include Mango Pulissery (yogurt boiled to perfection with raw mango), Pacha Moru (buttermilk), Ada Pradhaman Payasam (kheer made from steamed rice flakes in coconut milk, sweetened with jaggery). Most of ingredients used to prepare the Sadhya have been procured from the southern state.

Tickets upwards of ₹1100 with Sadhya; and ₹499 without Sadya, can be bought on Bookmyshow:

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 11:11:49 PM |

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